News and Events

Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr launches StopWatch

20 October 2010

Reverend Jackson launched the StopWatch action group on stop and search tactics on Monday 18 October 2010

StopWatch is made up of activists, academics and campaigners and aims to cut ethnic disproportionality in stop and search by half over the next five years. StopWatch also intends to promote best practice in policing and to work with the government to ensure that policing reforms are fair and inclusive.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) stated in its Triennial Review, published on 11 October 2010,  that despite making up between 2-3% of the population, 15% of those stopped and searched by the police in the UK are black. Furthermore, Asian people are stopped and searched at twice the rate of white people (Ministry of Justice 2009). Given this disproportionality, stop and search tactics continue to drive a wedge between communities and the police, leading to mistrust of the police in some parts of society.

Runnymede is a member organisation of StopWatch. Our director, Rob Berkeley said: “Given the government’s current review into policing in the UK, it is crucial that any reforms announced are fair and inclusive – particularly in relation to stop and search. StopWatch intends to act as a check on government as it carries out these reforms, as well as address the stark ethnic disproportionalities in stop and search.”

Ben Bowling, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at King’s College London – also a member of StopWatch – said, “The abuse of stop and search has driven a wedge between police and communities. It is often unfair and ineffective and can be counter-productive. StopWatch aims to monitor the use of stop and search powers and focus research and public policy on developing good policing. Together we can find fairer and more inclusive ways of creating a safer society.”

Download the press release from this page

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